Education

NCLB: Wild Beast or Creature to Be Tamed?

September 16, 2008 1 min read

I’m still on my search for the 10,000 pound gorilla that is the No Child Left Behind Act. Even with this photo to guide me, I didn’t find it at the U.S. Department of Education this morning.

Instead of being scared of the law, the department officials there seemed to be planning for its future. “We think you’re going to be a good resource for the department,” Deputy Secretary of Education Raymond J. Simon told members of the National Technical Advisory Council. “You’re going to be a good resource for Congress.”

All of this bodes well for NCLB, he said. Bush administration officials will set new policies in motion that improve the law, and their replacements will be ready to put their own stamp on those policies. And Congress will have the advice of experts as it decides what to do about reauthorizing it, Simon said.

The panel members then delved into a discussion of how to structure politics to assure that a state’s performance index is accurate and whether to make changes in the department’s policies over growth models. There was no talk of trying to slay NCLB—or even make major changes to it.

After two days, I’m asking myself: Why is it that NCLB is seen as a monstrosity on the campaign trail but not in Washington?

Maybe I’ll have an answer tomorrow.

A version of this news article first appeared in the NCLB: Act II blog.